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Author Topic: Ukrainian developer building mall on Holocaust grave  (Read 1466 times)
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WhiskeyGirl
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« on: July 24, 2008, 07:14:26 PM »

July 24, 2008, 21:13

Ukrainian developer building mall on Holocaust grave

Ukrainian Jews are locked in a dispute with a developer they claim is building on the site of a Holocaust mass grave. Odessa's Chief Rabbi has called on Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to intervene.
 
A Jewish group estimates that the burial ground contains the remains of 26,000 Jews who perished during the Nazis' occupation of the city.

Avrohom Wolf, the Chief Rabbi for Odessa and southern Ukraine, said the victims were executed in Autumn 1941, shortly after German troops invaded the Soviet Union.

Graves and markings now dot the area, but the site is not officially labelled a cemetery.

"Construction on the site where there are bones wherever you dig cannot be called anything but blasphemy and an insult to the memory of the dead," wrote Wolf in a letter to the Prime Minster.

"It is difficult to describe how horrible it looked hundreds and hundreds of people, hands, legs, skulls," Wolf told the Associated Press.

A spokesperson for Chabad, the local Jewish community organisation, Boleslav Kapulkin, accused the developers of covering up the human remains when they were first unearthed on Monday.

According to Kapulkin, employees of the construction company building a shopping complex on the land removed bones and other remains from the site overnight.

The burial ground has been put under constant police surveillance following accusations of graverobbing and vandalism.


The government has declined to comment.

http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/28001

 
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LouiseVargas
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2008, 08:54:12 PM »

Dear Whiskey,
 
This is a heartbreaking story. My first question is why Rabbi Wolf (1941) did not designate the area as an "official cemetery." That is the root cause of the situation you describe.
 
I think this is horrible. I know our souls are inside our bodies as long as we live. However, after death and decomposition, digging up bones is where I draw the line. Bones are holy.

My daughter taught me this when the first Gulf War began. My cat Annabel Lee had to be put down at 16 years old due to cancer. I had her cremated and her crushed bones were returned to me in a plastic baggy in a cedar box. I kept handling the bag of bones trying to figure out the meaning of life. My daughter said to me, "Mom, for God's sake, put the baggy back into the box, lock it, and let her bones rest in peace."

However, the same thing has happened in our country. Developers want to develop but Native Indian officials protest that those sites are holy Indian graveyards. No one listens.

Same thing. They do it. We do it. How can we stop it? 
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2008, 04:26:42 PM »

I don't know how anyone can stop it.

There is another article -

Quote
Ukraine Jews want graves building halted
By OlGA BONDARUK 2 days ago

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) A Jewish group asked the Ukrainian government on Wednesday to stop construction on the site of a grave containing the remains of an estimated 26,000 victims of the Holocaust.

The Jewish community in Odessa says a developer has begun building what it believes will be a shopping mall on the site of a burial ground. When construction workers began digging they found bones, skulls and children's toys, said Avrohom Wolf, the chief rabbi for Odessa and southern Ukraine. He said the builder has taken away all the remains it dug out and said he has no clue where to search for them. Wolf would not name the company, in hope of finding a solution.

The victims were executed in the fall of 1941, shortly after German troops invaded the Soviet Union, according to Wolf. The grave a plot of barren land not far from the center of the city was marked by several Jewish monuments, but not officially labeled a cemetery.

"It is difficult to describe how horrible it looked hundreds and hundreds of people, hands, legs, skulls," Wold told the Associated Press.

Wolf and other Jewish leaders sent a letter to Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, asking her to intervene. Wolf said local officials had tried to help but failed.

"Construction on the site where there are bones wherever you dig cannot be called anything but blasphemy and an insult to the memory of the dead," the letter said.

The government declined immediate comment.

Historians say some 1.4 million of Soviet Ukraine's 2.4 million Jews were executed, starved to death or died of disease during the war. Their remains are strewn around the country in common graves, many of them ignored and unmarked.

Jewish cemeteries and burial grounds get little respect in the former Soviet Union. Graves have been disturbed by construction works elsewhere in Ukraine and in neighboring Belarus.

Earlier this spring another developer began construction of an apartment building on a pre-World War II Jewish cemetery in the city of Vinnytsia. The Jewish community had to fight to stop the project.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g8oyDUl9cg67ayoKR5U5DpgJ_q5QD923S9E80

This appears to be a new find.  I don't know why they wouldn't want to try and identify those people.  What did they do with the remains?  I don't know why anyone would want to shop there.  ewww....
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It doesn't do any good to hate anyone,
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2008, 04:41:34 PM »

Odessa Jews demand construction halt 
 
By  Published: 07/23/2008 

The Jewish community of Odessa is trying to stop construction for the second time in an area believed to be the site of a wartime massacre.

A grave was found by chance last week when workers were digging

lay pipes, Roman Shvartz, a leader of the Odessa Association of Former Prisoners of Ghettos and Concentration Camps, told JTA Tuesday.

The site is located at the intersection of Lyusdorfskaya and Tolbukhina Streets in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. In autumn 1941 the Nazis killed and cremated more than 25,000 people, mainly Jews, in this area. The corner is marked by two memorials commemorating Jewish and Soviet prisoners of war massacred by the Nazis.

According to Jewish activists, the proposed construction site is located about 300 yards from one of the memorials and on Monday workers dug up human remains.

But the workers did not stop digging, and the remains were thrown out near the site. A local TV channel showed the remains of the Holocaust victims during a broadcast Monday evening , but during the night the remains were removed.

Rabbi Avraham Wolf, Chief Rabbi of Odessa and Southern Ukraine, on Tuesday visited the site and found many other human remains there.

Odessa Vice-Mayor Vakhtangi Ubiriya told JTA that he will do everything in his power to halt any construction at the site of the wartime massacre.

In the letter sent Tuesday to Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, the Odessa Jewish community demands that all unearthed remains be found and returned to the site,and that the government ban construction at the site of massacre and give the area the status of commemorative mass grave/burial place to the site.

http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/article/20080723odessamassacre.html

GPR might be one option to help identify the boundaries of the mass grave, or other sites in the area.   Perhaps it would be possible to interview older survivors regarding other locations. 
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All my posts are just my humble opinions.  Please take with a grain of salt.  Smile

It doesn't do any good to hate anyone,
they'll end up in your family anyway...
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